One of the most popular works in the Ailey repertory, Ronald K. Brown’s spellbinding Grace is a fervent tour-de-force depicting individuals on a journey to the promised land. Described by The New York Times as “astounding, something to be sensed as well as seen,” this spiritually-charged work is a rapturous blend of modern dance and West African idioms. As in many of Brown’s works, the movement alternates fluidly between extremes, with eruptions of power coupled with lightness. A serene solo for an angel-like figure in white gives way to fireball intensity as 12 dancers resembling urban warriors execute Brown’s whirling, pounding choreography, arms and legs slicing the air and fingers pointing to the sky.
Brown’s varied music choices closely reflect the heart of the work, with the spiritual grounding of Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday, the contemporary yet timeless house music vibe of Roy Davis’ “Gabriel,” and the West African and African-American traditions of Fela Kuti’s Afro-Pop beats.
Support for this production was provided by
Natasha Leibel Levine, M.D. & Harlan B. Levine, M.D., and Elizabeth Marsteller Gordon.
The creation of this work was made possible, in part, by AT&T,
the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Harkness Foundation for Dance.
Brooklyn born Ronald K. Brown has created and presented dances since 1985, with his NY-based company Evidence, at venues in the U.S., France, Brazil, England and Cote d'Ivoire. Brown's choreography has been performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, African American Dance Ensemble, Cinque Folkloric Dance Theater, Philadanco, Ailey II and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among others. Brown has worked with and learned from Jennifer Muller/THE WORKS, Mary Anthony Dance Theater/PHOENIX, Bessie Schonberg, Ann Carlson and Judith Jamison. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers' Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.